Franklin Hardwell "Frank" Whitten

August 20, 1937August 27, 2020

Franklin Hardwell "Frank" Whitten, 83, died on August 27, 2020 in Lynchburg General Hospital. A lifelong resident of Lynchburg, he was born on August 20, 1937 to the late Wilbur Carrington “Red” Whitten and the late Louise Poole Whitten. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Lynn Whitten. He was married to Harriet Jones Whitten of Norfolk for 61 years.

An alumnus of E.C. Glass High School, Virginia Military Institute and Echols College of Mortuary Science, Frank began his chosen career early on working at Whitten Funeral Home with his father as a teenager. Throughout his life, Frank never considered his career as a job, rather as a calling. In the words of those he served, “he was kind, caring, compassionate and totally professional leading them through very sad and difficult times.” He was actively involved in numerous civic organizations, making friends wherever he went. He loved spending time with his family and friends. Frank was a devoted member of Peakland United Methodist Church where he served in numerous capacities.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children: Susan Whitten Padgett (Roy) of Charlotte NC, Alice Whitten Bowen (Tony) of Parrish FL, Mary Carter Whitten Van Atta (Matt) of Decatur GA, and Franklin Hardwell “Hardy” Whitten, Jr. (Betsy) of San Diego CA, eight grandchildren: Drew Bowen (Aubrey) of Atlanta GA, Sarah Bowen Hersh (Eric) of Huntersville, NC, Paul Bowen of Atlanta GA, Mary Grace Padgett of Memphis TN, Elizabeth Padgett and Lilly Padgett both of Charlotte NC, Oscar Whitten of San Diego CA and Rob Van Atta of Decatur GA. He is survived by his brothers, Wilbur Carrington Whitten, Jr of Forest and Thomas P. Whitten of Beaufort SC. Also, he is survived by his brother-in-law, William Henry Jones, Jr. and his wife, Margaret of Augusta GA.

A Celebration of Life honoring Frank, will be held Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 11:00 am at Peakland United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at a reception at the church following the service.

The family requests that memorials be made to Peakland United Methodist Church, 4434 Boonsboro Road, Lynchburg VA 24503.

To send online condolences to the family, please visit


  • Harriet J. Whitten, Wife
  • Susan Padgett (Roy), Daughter
  • Alice Bowen (Tony), Daughter
  • Mary Carter Van Atta (Matt), Daughter
  • Franklin H. "Hardy" Whitten, Jr. (Betsy), Son
  • Drew Bowen, Grandson
  • Sarah Bowen Hersh, Granddaughter
  • Paul Bowen, Grandson
  • Mary Grace Padgett, Granddaughter
  • Elizabeth Padgett, Granddaughter
  • Andrew Padgett, Grandson
  • Oscar Whitten, Grandson
  • Rob Van Atta, Grandson
  • Wilbur Carrington Whitten, Jr., Brother
  • Thomas P. Whitten (Susan), Brother
  • Mary Lynn Whitten, Sister (deceased)
  • William Henry Jones, Jr. (Margaret), Brother-in-law

  • Peakland United Methodist Church


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Reception After the Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021


Franklin Hardwell "Frank" Whitten

have a memory or condolence to add?

James Hall

July 23, 2021

Frank was a true friend. We had breakfast every Wednesday starting in February 2010. I will never forget that day. It was the start of a possible Rotary Club in Madison Heights. On that cold and snow morning only one person showed up and that was Frank. From that day on he was always there and supported all of the things that our club did for others in need. Later when the Club did not form, we continued to meet with a few faithful people. Frank was so proud of his family and he told many stories about them. He continued to come to breakfast even after he was sick. I will always remember Frank as the person who always gave of himself to serve others. I will always have a special place in my heart for those great memories.

Ken West

July 18, 2021

I vividly recall walking into Peakland Methodist so many times and feeling such joy seeing you and Frank. You both were so positive and welcoming to all of us. And, Frank was blessed with the happiest expressions on his face. I imagine those came because of sharing his life with you. Patty and I are thinking of you and your family.
Much love,
Ken and Patty

Mary Lee

July 6, 2021

Mr. Whitten was a good neighbor. He always was cheerful and willing to help everyone when needed. He is missed.

Scott Winnagle

September 11, 2020

So very sorry for your loss. Frank was so very compassionate to my Mother and me when my Father passed away 7 years ago, and made such a stressful time surprisingly easier. God bless.

Rob White

September 10, 2020

Condolences to the family at a sad time.

Bud Walker

September 5, 2020

I attended V.E.S. with Hardy and so I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to him and his family for the loss of his father. May you all find strength and love in each other and know that you are thought of.

Dave Blankenship

September 1, 2020

The Whitten family has been serving our family for over 50 years! They have always been so kind to us.

Sue Pfeiffer

September 1, 2020

Although the times that I mostly saw Frank was during very sad times in my life, it was always a joy to see him. He was always able to bring a smile to my face. As often as I seemed to be at Whitten's, if he was not there, I always missed him, and inquired about him. Please know that I have Frank's family members and associates in my prayers. Because of his Dad, and of course him, and his nephew Paul, I will continue to be a customer to Whitten's. Thank you all for your professional services. May Frank rest in peace.
Sue J. Hall Pfeiffer
Rustburg, VA

Vernie W. Beahm

August 31, 2020

Our family was so sorry to hear about Frank. We are thankful for him and his Daddy (Red) assiting our family all through the years.
Frank was always very kind and friendly to each of our generations.

He will be greatly missed.

The Wilson Family

Debie Dodson

August 31, 2020

Harriet and family,
Frank was such a wonderful help to me when my parents passed away. We know that he helped so many people, and was loved by everyone. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, we are so sorry for your loss.
Mike and Debie Dodson